Bangladesh to inaugurate construction work of 1200MW Matarbarhi power plant on Jan 25

The construction work of the 1200 megawatt coal-fired power plant at Matarbarhi in Maheshkhali of Cox’s Bazar will start on Jan 25. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to inaugurate the work and address a rally there on that day.On Friday, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid visited the project site.

Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Hiroyasu Izumi, Japan International Cooperation Agency or JICA Chief Representative Takatoshi Nishikata, Power Development Board Chairman Khaled Mahmood, Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited or CPGCBL Managing Director Abul Kashem accompanied the state minister. State Minister Nasrul said the type of the power plant would be ultra-supercritical. According to him, 18 percent work to construct associated facilities like jetty and coal handling facilities for coal import, coal storage, township and roads was already completed.

The estimated cost to build the plant on a 1,414-acre piece of land is around Tk 360 billion. Japan is providing around Tk 290 billion in loan support for the project while the government will fund over Tk 70 billion. The state minister expressed hope that it would be possible to supply electricity to the national grid from the Matarbarhi power plant by 2023. Asheq Ullah Rafiq MP of Maheshkhali, who also accompanied the minister during the visit, told that the ruling Awami League’s local units took preparations to welcome party chief Hasina. “We hope the Matarbarhi project will help us develop this neglected coastal area,” he said.

Among the 10 projects prioritised by the government, Matarbarhi power plant is placed second after Rooppur nuclear power plant project in terms of cost. The government cleared the Matarbarhi project in August 2015, but the tender process was postponed after the killings of 17 foreigners, including Japanese engineers, in the Gulshan café attack on July 1, 2016. State-owned CPGCBL finally signed the deal with Japanese consortium of Sumitomo Corporation, Toshiba Corporation and IHI Corporation on July 27 last year to build the plant. The government has also started work to set up a deep sea port and liquefied natural gas or LNG terminal along with a special economic zone, which is expected to create a huge number of jobs.